2024 XTERRA Colombia: An Elite High Altitude Adventure

May 22, 2024

PAIPA, BOYACÁ, COLOMBIA /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – May 26, 2024 marks a major milestone on the XTERRA World Tour as XTERRA Colombia launches its inaugural event. This Full Distance off-road triathlon, set in the high altitudes of Paipa, Boyacá, introduces athletes to the highest elevation start of the season at 8,000 feet (approx. 2,500 meters) above sea level, testing their endurance and acclimatization to challenging race conditions.

Adding to the Elite competition, XTERRA Colombia provides 28 qualifying slots to athletes across various age groups to the XTERRA World Championship in Italy this September. A $7,500 Elite Prize Purse is also up for grabs in his high-altitude venue that promises scenic backdrops for high-performance athletes aiming to stand atop the podium when they cross the finish line at D´Acosta Hotel Sochagota.

Course Overview

Swim (1.5K): The Full Distance race plunges athletes into the clear waters of Lake Sochagota with a single 1.5K loop swim. Surrounded by lush greenery and the mountains of Boyacá, athletes will immerse themselves in the natural beauty that makes Paipa an ideal venue for triathletes.

Bike (30K): After the first transition, competitors will tackle a 30K MTB course that showcases the rugged landscape of Paipa. This route traverses a variety of terrains, including singletrack paths and demanding hills, passing Colombian country houses and grazing livestock, with every pedal stroke offering panoramic vistas.

Run (10K): The race concludes with a trail run designed to impress trail runners who crave the very best in views, routes and rugged appeal. Competitors will navigate winding paths through dense forests. The course features a mix of technical terrains, culminating in a climb to the top of a mountain surrounded by forest, where runners can enjoy a spectacular view before descending back to the finish line.

Elite Men’s Race: Who To Watch Out For

As XTERRA Colombia makes its debut on the World Tour, it brings to the forefront local Colombian elites transitioning from on-road triathlons to tackle this challenging course. This section delves into the motivations and goals of these athletes, starting with two brothers, Alejandro and Arturo Guzmán Medina, who bring pride to their country, region, and family.

Alejandro Guzmán Medina (COL)

Alejandro Guzmán Medina’s notable results include a 4th place finish at the 2022 Americas Triathlon Duathlon Championships in Tocancipa. He is drawn to the unique demands of XTERRA by stating, “I choose to race XTERRA Colombia because the differences in terrain are attractive to me. It’s a triathlon where you need both biking and running skills to be in front, not just great fitness.” He values the local elite competition and prize purse, noting, “It’s one of the few races in Colombia where elite athletes are allowed to compete for a prize purse. With these kinds of events, we can race more locally.”

On the course specifics, Alejandro shares, “The swim is the easiest part—fast, maybe a bit cold, but manageable. The bike course has some hard hills and fast descents. The run is challenging; the key is to go hard uphill and maintain pace downhill. Although I’m not an expert, this being just my second race in these conditions.”

Arturo Guzmán Medina (COL)

Arturo Guzmán Medina, who recently placed 7th at the 2024 Colombia Sprint Triathlon National Championships, is excited about participating in XTERRA Colombia with his older brother Alejandro. “I chose this race because it’s a format I’ve always wanted to experience. It’s new in Colombia, so I think it’s important to participate in these new events to help them grow and in the future aid the development of triathlon in all categories here,” Arturo mentions. Living close to Paipa, he is familiar with the venue and appreciates its suitability for off-road races. “Being my first XTERRA race at home will be amazing,” he adds.

Regarding the course, Arturo recalls, “I have swum in that lake, and it’s pretty fast. The bike course is tough and technical, requiring good form and skill. The run, similar to the bike, may need more endurance due to fatigue from previous segments.”

Finally, Arturo comments on the appeal of racing in Colombia: “Colombia is a great place for training and racing because you can find both low and high altitude training close by, allowing you to develop your performance with great scenery. The energy and passion for sports among the people here make it a meaningful experience.”

Brian Moya (COL)

While Arturo Guzmán Medina placed 7th at the 2024 Colombia Sprint Triathlon National Championships, it was Brian Moya who came out victorious winning the event that took place on March 15, 2024.

Moya expresses a strong motivation for joining XTERRA Colombia, driven by a desire for new challenges: “I want to attempt new things that will give me a fresh and new experience because this race is different from what I have usually experienced on the ITU circuit.”

Describing the XTERRA Colombia course, Brian notes the rigorous conditions it presents. “It’s a pretty tough course. To start, you compete at an elevation of 2,500 meters above sea level, which is very unique because most circuits don’t go above that,” he explains. The swim takes place in a lake where “the temperature and thermal sensation make it difficult for your body to move comfortably,” while the biking and running segments challenge athletes with XTERRA’s notoriously difficult mountain terrain.

Opting for off-road triathlons over traditional road formats, Brian seeks to broaden his horizons within the sport: “I’m seeking a new experience that will allow me to learn more about this sport in a different setting, and XTERRA fits my requirements to try new things.”

Finally, Brian invites more athletes to explore and compete in Colombia, emphasizing the nation’s rich offerings: “The best way to sum up our nation is to call it amazing. With its unique culture, delectable cuisine, gorgeous scenery, and friendly people, Colombia is the ideal destination for anyone interested in participating in a sport that unites us all.”

David Guete (COL)

In between Brian Moya and Arturo Guzmán Medina at the 2024 Colombia Sprint Triathlon National Championships was David Guete who finished 4th. Another notable result is his 2nd place podium result at the 2023 Americas Triathlon Duathlon Championships Merida.

Guete shares his enthusiasm for joining the inaugural XTERRA event in Colombia, drawn by the novelty and the challenge it presents. “Because it’s the first official XTERRA race in my country, I want to try it. I have never raced XTERRA triathlons, so I really want to challenge myself in one,” he states, highlighting his eagerness to explore new formats within triathlon.

Speaking about the course, Guete remarks on his familiarity with the swim segment, “I have only practiced in the swim course in Sochagota Lake; it is a very cold lake but beautiful.” His experience in these conditions could offer him an edge, particularly in adapting to the challenging environment XTERRA races are known for.

As this marks his first foray into off-road racing, David explains his preparation approach: “It is my first time in an off-road race, when I start my preparation I do a lot of hiking and trail running and off-road cycling, that’s why maybe I can love these kinds of races.”

Elite Women’s Spotlight: Pao’s Pursuit

Paola Morales (COL)

A newcomer to XTERRA, Morales, who is respectfully known in her circles as ‘Pao,’ articulates her eagerness to compete at the inaugural XTERRA Colombia. “It is a new triathlon format in my country, and I love being part of new events that support the development of the sport in Colombia,” she explains.

Discussing the course details, Morales provides her insights: “XTERRA Colombia is a technical terrain full of nature, which will lead each athlete to challenge their limits and give their best in each segment of the triathlon.”

She also shares her personal motivations for choosing the off-road triathlon format, reflecting her affinity for the natural environment. “I am passionate about mountains, nature, and I believe that there is nothing better than being able to do sports surrounded by beautiful and challenging landscapes,” she states, highlighting her connection with the rugged settings of XTERRA events.

Morales encourages athletes from around the globe to explore the diverse offerings of her homeland: “In Colombia, you will be able to enjoy the mountains, beaches, deserts, snow-capped mountains and many beautiful landscapes as well as friendly, charismatic people, diversity of climates and cultures, and delicious food.” Her invitation exemplifies Colombia’s unique appeal as a vibrant and welcoming destination for international athletes.

XTERRA Colombia: An Inaugural Festival

Manuela Kapitány from Xportiva, the XTERRA Colombia event director and a dedicated triathlete, shares insights into the event’s conception and goals. “We are athletes first, and our dream is to host the most amazing XTERRA race for the people of Colombia and around the globe,” Kapitány remarks. She emphasizes the commitment to creating a memorable experience that captures the spirit of both competition and camaraderie.

Kapitány also highlights the natural beauty and challenges of the course: “Even though the race will have challenging hills and technical paths, participants will find themselves captivated by the route, experiencing moments of wonder and pure exhilaration throughout the journey.” This reflects the dual nature of XTERRA Colombia, combining rigorous athletic challenges with the breathtaking landscapes of Paipa.

The 2-day festival atmosphere extends beyond the triathlon, incorporating a 21K Trail Half Marathon offering qualifying slots for the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, a 10K run, an XC MTB race, and a Run4Kids event, ensuring that enthusiasts of all ages and skills can participate. This inaugural event is not just a race but a celebration of outdoor sports, inviting a global community to experience the diversity and beauty of Colombia’s natural terrain.


XTERRA is a global lifestyle brand that champions the outdoor enthusiast in their pursuit of relentless adventure. From pioneering the sport of cross-triathlon in 1996, XTERRA has grown to become a leading brand in off-road adventure through the XTERRA World Tour, XTERRA Trail Run World Series and the XTERRA World Cup, connecting an eco-aware community of worldwide explorers that seek to protect the places where they play. For more information, visit xterraplanet.com.

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